Welcome to the Air Force Institute of Technology

AFIT Graduates Class of March 2008
Posted Friday, March 28, 2008


Two hundred fifty three scientists, engineers, and management specialists are the recipients of graduate and doctoral degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology. AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management held its March 2008 graduation ceremony Thursday at the Dayton Masonic Center. The graduating class was awarded 247 master’s degrees and seven doctorates (one student was awarded a dual master’s degree).

AFIT grads

Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel, delivered the commencement address. He told the graduates, “I believe that when you walk out these doors, the Air Force becomes better.” Once Gen. Newton offered his final congratulations and AFIT Commandant Brig. Gen. Paula G. Thornhill passed out diplomas to the master’s students, the ceremony highlighted the dissertations of the doctoral students:

A Unified Framework for Solving Multiagent Task Assignment Problems, By Maj. Kevin Cousin, Advisor: Dr. Gilbert L. Peterson. Self-sufficient teams of robots are providing new ways to perform mission critical operations such as information gathering, search and rescue, and logistics planning. Maj. Cousin, with support from the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute, defines new techniques for artificially intelligent agents to autonomously and cooperatively communicate and solve complicated problems using economic strategies and biological models. The results of his research provide a crucial step for realizing the deployment of goal-oriented robot teams.

Time Dependent Transport Discrete Ordinates Neutron Transport Using Distribution Iteration in XYZ Geometry, By Maj. James R. Dishaw, Advisor: Dr. Kirk Mathews. Nuclear weapon simulations and effects calculations require computer codes that produce results quickly and efficiently. Maj. Dishaw tackled a specific problem that is traditionally very computationally intensive and limits the precision of the computed results, namely neutral particle transport. With support from the Air Force Technical Applications Center, he developed an algorithm that more efficiently computes solutions to neutral particle transport problem and paves the way for more improved computations dealing with various aspects of nuclear weapons effects.

Combat Identification with Synthetic Aperture Radar, Out-of-Library Identification, and Non-Declarations, By Maj. Mark A. Friend, Advisor: Dr. Kenneth W. Bauer, Jr. Automatic target recognition using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is critical to successful implementation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. With support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Air Combat Command, Maj. Friend developed new methods to improve target classification from SAR data. He specifically focused on the system’s ability to identify instances where insufficient information existed on targets being processed thereby reducing the number of false identifications. The results of this research will lead to improved performance of automatic target recognition systems for the Department of Defense.

Piezo-Electrochemical Transducer Effect (PECT) Intercalated Graphite Micro-Electromechanical Actuators, By Maj. Glen A. Kading, Advisor: Maj. LaVern A. Starman. Micro-electromechanical actuators are used to introduce motion into microscopic mechanical systems designed to replace larger and heaver systems on aircraft and satellites. Maj. Kading with support from the Air Force Research Laboratory has developed the first micro-scale actuators made of graphite. His invention produces forces that are 10–100 times greater than current, conventional devices while expending less power. Maj. Kading’s successes will lead to much improved performance of micro-electromechanical actuators for application in advanced aircraft and satellite systems.

Composable Distributed Access Control and Integrity Policies for Query-Based Wireless Sensor Networks, By Maj. David W. Marsh, Advisor: Dr. Rusty O. Baldwin, Jr. Wireless sensor networks are particularly vulnerable to intrusion and, therefore, sensitive information can be compromised. Maj. Marsh, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate, has developed a unique protocol to enforce security in wireless sensor networks thereby limiting access to sensitive information. His protocol also applies multiple networks that share information. Maj. Marsh’s work provides for simple security policy updates, eliminates unnecessary communications in the networks and increases the lifetime of the network.

Joint Image and Pupil Plane Reconstruction Algorithm based on Bayesian Techniques, By Maj. James D. Phillips, Advisor: Dr. Stephen C. Cain. Acquiring well-resolved images through the atmosphere is crucial for military surveillance activities but these images can be considerably distorted by atmospheric turbulence. Maj. Phillips, with support from the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, has developed an algorithm using a novel approach that combines data from two elements of an optical system, thereby significantly improving the resolution of these distorted images. His work will lead to improved design and performance of imaging systems with little increases in weight or volume to the collection platform.

Development of Experimental, Analytical, and Numerical Approximations Appropriate for Nonlinear Damping Coatings, By Maj. Shad Reed, Advisor: Dr. Anthony Palazotto. Advanced turbine engine technology requires new and complex materials that will withstand the demands of the engine’s use. With support from the Propulsion Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute, Maj. Reed developed a new experimental procedure that accurately determines the mechanical properties of these materials. He applied his methods to a candidate material, Magnesium Aluminate Spinel, thereby significantly increasing the level of understanding about its properties and behaviors. Considered to be a major advance, the results of this workbrings this material one step closer to being integrated into next generation turbine engines.

Air Force officers composed the majority of the Class of March 2008; however, the Institute also graduated three Navy officers, five Army officers, three Marine Corps officers, seven Air Force enlisted, and 15 civilians, along with 17 international students from the countries of Turkey, Bahrain, and the Republic of Korea. Upon graduation, most AFIT students will fill technical positions requiring advanced academic degrees in their respective fields of study from across the Department of Defense.

Four students were recognized for their exemplary performance during their graduate studies. The Commandant’s Award was presented to Capt. Robert Johnson, who demonstrated the most exceptional individual master’s thesis research. In recognition of his exceptional scholarship and high qualities of character, initiative, and leadership, First Lt. Christina Rusnock was the recipient of the Mervin E. Gross Award, named in honor of Brig. Gen. Mervin E. Gross, first commandant of the institute. The Edwin E. Aldrin, Sr. Award, named in honor of Lt. Edwin E. Aldrin, Sr., member of the institute’s first graduating class and father of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was presented to Maj. Heather Gallup for demonstrating strong personal leadership and accomplishing AFIT’s education objectives in an outstanding manner. Finally, Master Sgt. Denzil Hellesen received the inaugural Secretary James G. Roche Award for demonstrating exceptional academic achievement through a combination of grade point average and outstanding thesis, as well as high qualities of character, initiative, leadership and service while in a master’s graduate program.

Congratulations to AFIT’s graduating class of March 2008!



Master of Science

Second Lt. Brian Dwayne Hockersmith

Second Lt. Jesse David Peterson *

Capt. Melanie Rae Slattery

Second Lt. Seth B. Wagenman




Master of Science

Capt. J. Mark Belue

First Lt. Gerod Michael Bonhoff

Capt. Sean Christopher Michael Carroll

Second Lt. Mark Edward Coyne

Capt. Mark Edward DeYoung

First Lt. Richard Dill

Maj. David M. Dines

Maj. Marnita Thompson Eaddie

Capt. Thomas Frederick Fulton

Ms. Jane J. Griffin

Maj. Andrew P. Hansen*

First Lt. Shannon Erin Marie Hunt

Capt. Moses C. James

First Lt. Michael B. Kolbe *

Capt. Robert Landen Lidowski

First Lt. Alan Chun Kai Lin

Capt. Kelly Kathleen McElroy

Maj. Kenneth E. Norman

Capt. Dustin J. Nowak

Capt. John Matthew Pecarina

Capt. Gregory R. Roberts

First Lt. Paul Noel Roque

Maj. Bryan E. Skarda

Mr. Al-Nath H. Tuting

Capt. Raymond S. Way

Capt. Dorsey Carl Wilkin *


Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Capt. Jeffrey P. Duffy

First Lt. Theodore John Erickson

First Lt. Charles A. Fetzek

Second Lt. Alexander C. Gruenther

Capt. Matthew Gundry Judge

Capt. Daniel Molina

Capt. Adrian Nicole Phillips

Capt. Kevin James Savidge


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

First Lt. Bora Cakiroglu (Turkey)

First Lt. Kelson D. Chabak

Maj. Marc A. Chiasson Jr.

Second Lt. Christopher S. Costello

Capt. James W. Crouch

First Lt. Murat Dogrul (Turkey)

First Lt. Sedat Ebcin (Turkey)

Capt. Benjamin Duce Hancey

Capt. Stephen J. Hopp

Capt. Michael David Kaun

First Lt. Jason Thomas Kent

Capt. Eric Lam

Maj. Thomas A. Lenz

Capt. Adam J. Liddle

Capt. Nathaniel C. Liefer *

Capt. Michael B. Nielsen *

First Lt. Soner Özer (Turkey)

Capt. Scott Jay Pierce

Second Lt. Adam J. Pohl

Capt. Timothy R. Policarpio

Capt. Brian M. Rickert Jr.

Capt. Paul J. Shelnutt

Capt. Jason W. Shirley

Capt. Neil A. Soliman

Capt. Aaron J. Sprecher

Capt. Samuel J. Stone *

Mr. William C. Suski II *

First Lt. Severin M. Swanson

Capt. Alfred Albert Tamayo III

Capt. James Daniel Townsend

Second Lt. Kevin Prasit Vitayaudom




Master of Science

Capt. David Rexford Armbruster

Capt. Richard M. Derbis

Capt. Ryan N. Givens

Capt. Eric M. Golden

Capt. Allison S. Goodspeed

Maj. Leslie S. Hawkins (US Army)

Second Lt. Jessica L. Poindexter

Capt. Joseph P. Reich III

Capt. Justin Benjamin Spring *

Capt. Eric W. Thompson


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Capt. Michael T. Hagg

Capt. Kyle R. McAtee *

Capt. Roger C. Platteborze

Capt. Michael D. Plourde

Capt. Joshua Daniel Rasmussen


Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Maj. David Arnold (US Army)

Second Lt. Bryan D. Blasy

Capt. David Edward Mather

Capt. Kelly D. Rakes

Maj. Matthew A. Ross (US Army)

Capt. Briana J. Smith




Master of Science

First Lt. Omer Alkanat (Turkey)

Capt. David M. Bethea

First Lt. A. Aydin Çandir (Turkey)

Capt. Derrick M. Chelliah

Ms. Emily Curtis Evans

First Lt. Osman Bahadir Gokcen (Turkey)

Capt. Robert Joseph Johnson *

Capt. Ryan D. Kappedal

Capt. Tae Ho Kim (Republic of Korea)

Capt. Joseph S. Lupa Jr.

Mr. Hunter Adam Marks

First Lt. Adem Okal (Turkey)

First Lt. Todd J. Paciencia *

Capt. Ryan S. Ponack

Capt. Bryan Thomas Sparkman

Capt. Brian Benedict Stone

Mr. Bryan Robert Tannehill


Master of Science in Logistics Management

Capt. Jeffrey M. Durand

Capt. Christopher P. Gardner

Capt. Aaron James Hepler

Capt. Jeffrey Glen Holland *

Capt. Kelly D. Kendall

Tech. Sgt. Michael Kretser

Capt. Phillip Kirk Larson

Capt. Bryan D. Main

Senior Master Sgt. Troy J. Miller

Capt. Joseph A. Servidio

Capt. Elise V. Strachan

Capt. Lance Allen Vann

Capt. Derek L. Williamson




Master of Science

Capt. Jonathan Paul Kochersberger (US Marine Corps)

Maj. Stephanie McCormack-Brown

Capt. Daniel J. Schneider

Maj. Ian F. Thompson (US Marine Corps)


Master of Science in Engineering Management

Maj. Michael J. Beach

Capt. Rebecca S. Corbin

Capt. Donald Clinton Crabtree

Capt. Daniel Alan Craig

Capt. Andrew J. Cullen

Maj. James S. Griffin *

Capt. Krista M. Hickman *

Capt. Ryan A. Howell

Maj. Juan Andres Kays

Second Lt. Janell Marie Lott

Maj. David Michael Nyikos *

Capt. Nathan P. Olsen

Capt. James W. Rosner

Capt. Theodore Jonathan Sotoropolis

Capt. Luke D. Stumme

Second Lt. Benjamin James Thomas

Capt. Rick E. Vermillion Jr.

Capt. R. Scott Wallace

Capt. Paul S. Wever

Maj. Jack Grierson Wheeldon III

Capt. Elizabeth Ashley Yesué


Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science

Capt. Elisabeth M. Leon

Maj. Gregory G. Seaman (US Marine Corps)


Master of Science in Information Resource Management

Capt. Brian D. Aschenbrenner

Capt. Eric M. Ashe *

Capt. Ryan D. Bechtloff

Capt. John Anthony Chessman

Capt. Capt. Robert M. Cowan

Tech. Sgt. Michael T. Edwards

Mr. John W. Fruge

Tech. Sgt. David Patrick Gough

Capt. Nicholas W. Haan *

Chief Master Sgt. Randy M. Harris *

Master Sgt. Denzil L. Hellesen

Capt. Thomas Robert Kettles Jr.

Capt. Kelli Kinley

Maj. Ryan A. Maxon

Capt. Michael W. Moseley

Capt. Byron Decharm Nicholson

Capt. Jason C. Norgaard

Capt. Anthony Richard Otto

Capt. Henry G. Paguirigan

Capt. Frank Saavedra

Mr. Jamison William Scheeres

Capt. David M. Sorrels

Capt. Mark A. Stratton

Capt. Johnny E. Triplett

Capt. Joseph Bernard Werling III

Maj. John F. Whitfield Jr. (US Army)

Master Sgt. Daniel J. Williams

Capt. Ward Griffin Willis

Capt. Edgard Ivan Zamora


Master of Science in Research and Development Management

Maj. John D. Bedingfield

Maj. Jean-Paul Chaussé

Capt. Brian Scott Confer

Capt. Sandra Jane Dias

Maj. Heather Lea Gallup

Maj. Sidney Watson Goehring

Capt. Reza Alexander Grigorian

First Lt. Christina F. Rusnock *

Mr. David Edward Shahady

Capt. Charles David Solomon


Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Capt. Jason L. Brown

Capt. Richard Aram Brown

Maj. Arthur David Cartwright

Capt. Douglas Andrew Ericson

First Lt. Travis J. Hanson

Capt. Anil Hariharan

Capt. Clay J. Humphreys

Capt. Alan Kevan Louie

Capt. Logan O. Mailloux

Capt. Bryon Edward Clute McClain

Lt. Cmdr. Scott V. Rivera (US Navy)

Capt. Neal R. Roach

Capt. Wayne Carl Rohe

Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Alan Sakryd (US Navy)

Capt. Grant E. Spear

First Lt. Nathan Farrington Welty *




Master of Science

Capt. Troy Cerny

First Lt. Mesut Gülmüs (Turkey) *

Capt. Halil Ibrahim Özdemir (Turkey)


Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering

Capt. Abdulla Ahmed Al-Noaimi (Bahrain)

Capt. Michael A. Arguello

Second Lt. Michael E. Bartowitz

Mr. Aaron J. Chmiel

Capt. Abram Earl Claycomb

Capt. Darrell Scott Crowe

Capt. Ryan J. Davidson

Capt. Steven J. Elliott

Second Lt. Daniel E. Fredberg

Capt. Hugh E. Gardenier IV

Capt. Christopher L. Genelin

Maj. Bartt G. Greene (US Marine Corps)

Capt. David M. Hall *

Capt. Terry B. Hankins

Second Lt. John H. Hansen

Second Lt. Alexander Robert Hausman

Capt. Nathan Klatt

Capt. Jason Kyle Lee

Second Lt. David F. Martin II

Maj. Scott A. McLaren

Capt. Steven Michael Meents

Capt. Nathan Aaron Pitcher

Lt. Isaac Roland Jr. (US Navy)

Capt. Steven William Speares *

Capt. William Strain

Second Lt. Craig Svanberg

Capt. Nate A. Terning

Capt. Roman T. Underwood

Capt. Olek Wojnar


Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

Capt. Rachel Marie Derbis

Capt. Darrell L. Grob

Capt. Christopher Donald Geisel*

First Lt. Ceylan Kesenek (Turkey)

Capt. Matthew Martin Schmunk

First Lt. Sakir Tirsi (Turkey) *

Capt. Bradley Robert Townsend (US Army)

Second Lt. Dustin James Warner

Second Lt. Jonathan W. Wright


Doctor of Philosophy

Maj. Kevin Cousin

Maj. James R. Dishaw

Maj. Mark A. Friend

Maj. Glen A. Kading

Maj. David Wesley Marsh

Maj. James D. Phillips

Maj. Shad A. Reed


(In Absentia)


Master of Science

Mr. Jack Parker Barnett

Mr. Todd C. Burnworth

Capt. Brian M. Clarke

Capt. Bo Yeon Jang (Republic of Korea)

Mr. Bernard Jacob Loeffelholz


Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

Mr. Alex M. Bohnert


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

First Lt. S. Atinç Delican (Turkey)

Mr. Christopher M. Schexnayder


* Denotes Distinguished Graduate